In one of the more high-octane games of the season, the Thunder took down the Magic 117-114 after Kevin Durant nailed a go-ahead three-pointer to win the game in front of a rowdy Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Durant finished with 37 points, five rebounds and five assists, while Russell Westbrook notched his third straight triple-double-- totaling 24 points, 19 rebounds and 14 assists.
It appeared the Thunder were going to let one slip by on a night they really had things going on the offensive end, but struggled to stop the Magic from scoring points. The Thunder’s highly touted offense was on display, but one would’ve thought OKC was playing the Warriors instead of the Magic, as Orlando continually had an offensive response for anything the Thunder tried to do.
Victor Oladipo was on point throughout the entire game, and Thunder guard Dion Waiters struggled to contain him while filling in for the injured Andre Roberson, who would’ve normally been assigned the task of guarding the crafty guard out of Indiana.
Despite the defensive problems, there was still a feeling the Thunder would eventually pull away for the win, but with 40 seconds left in the game and trailing by two, OKC appeared to be in some trouble.
Orlando had the ball leading 114-112 and Nikola Vucevic pulled up for a jumper that would’ve put the Magic up four points, but his jumper missed right and it looked like Magic guard Elfrid Payton would grab the rebound, but Westbrook sprung out of nowhere and snatched the rebound away to give OKC the ball.
After a timeout, Westbrook was able to quickly slash to the basket and score the game-tying layup with 29 seconds left to give the Thunder another chance if they were able stop Orlando on the other end of the floor.
Oladipo had the hot hand all night, but didn’t finish the way he would’ve liked due to Serge Ibaka’s headiness to switch off a screen and follow Oladipo into the lane. As Oladipo went up for a layup, “Air Congo” soared from across the lane and blocked the attempt and the ball went back into the hands of the Thunder.
Instead of calling a timeout, Thunder head coach Billy Donovan opted to let his team play it out, and it’s a good thing he did.
Durant dribbled up the left side of the floor, crossed over into a step back and drained a three pointer to give the Thunder a three point lead. There was half a second on the clock, but Oladipo’s game-tying attempt at the buzzer came up short and OKC snuck away with a win.
Enes Kanter had a very solid game off the bench with 13 points and seven rebounds, while Steven Adams totaled seven points and nine boards.
Orlando had five players score in double-digits in the loss.
Oklahoma City will have the next two days off before they take on the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night at 8 p.m.